Zoom Video Production Best Practices

December 12, 2020 by

Over the past 10 months Zoom has become a large part of our lives. We’re meeting up with friends, celebrating holidays and conducting business all through the online meeting platform. Zoom has also become a great way to capture content. Virtual conferences, online meetings and interviews are all viable pieces of content to capture from a Zoom video production. While this is an effective and cost saving method to create video content, there are specific steps to optimize your Zoom feed to create the best possible video asset.

In this article we will explain steps needed to create a Zoom recording that looks like a professionally shot video. By picking the right location in the room you’re Zooming in, adding external gear to help elevate your Zoom video production, fool proofing your Zoom recording and having a dedicated person oversee the Zoom to ensure best practices throughout the call and prepare for the edit during the Zoom video production.

zoom video

Picking The Right Location

In every Zoom call that you’re recording, similar to any video shoot, lighting is crucial to clearly see the talent. On a video shoot, you can control the direction and harshness of the lighting sources. This is not the case in many homes and offices where Zooms are taking place. That’s why it’s very important to test out different locations in your space to get the best lighting possible.

Generally, you want to have a light source hitting your face from the front and above you. Avoiding a strong light behind your head is key, unless you have an equally strong source from the opposite direction. Having a light or an open window come from a side angle can be useful as a fill light. While the lighting is limited in certain locations, making sure all parties are illuminated, as best as possible, on your Zoom video production is critical for the final video product.

Additional Tech To Elevate Your Zoom Video Production

In a recent Zoom talk ASL produced with our partner NCSolutions, we shipped the Zoom participants an external microphone and webcam that came with a ring light. The microphone plugged into the USB on our participant’s computers. It improved the audio of our speakers significantly and provided clear audio for the final video. The camera/light combination clipped on to the top of our clients’ computer. It provided a soft light source from in front of them that made our on-screen talent look vibrant. The external camera was an upgrade to the built in camera and created a higher res image.

zoom video production

To connect your feed to external audio and video sources, click the video menu in the bottom left of your Zoom screen and select the corresponding source. This will ensure the output is the correct audio and video sources. The internal audio and video feeds, in newer computers are good enough for most Zoom video content but to increase the production value of the video, external sources are a valuable tool. 

Fool Proofing Your Zoom Video Recording

When recording a Zoom feed to create video content for your company, the most important thing to remember is to make sure you hit the record button. Yes, it is simple to do but it’s just as simple to forget. Having a note on your computer or setting an alarm just before start time is an effective method. Setting the meeting to record when initially sending out the Zoom invite is a fool proof way to make sure your Zoom is recorded.

Now that you know Zoom is recording, pinning the proper speakers is crucial in creating the Zoom video production. ASL recommends that you have two separate computers recording your Zoom session. One computer will be set to speaker mode and the other should be set to gallery mode. One of the feeds will be recording an isolated view of the speaker on screen and the other will be recording in gallery mode. This is a producing trick that adds a ton of production value in the final video.

Professional Oversight

It’s safe to assume that the person leading your company’s Zoom event is familiar with the platform. Surely they’ve been on plenty of Zoom calls and have explored the interface the point of comfortability. It’s also safe to assume they have enough to worry about leading up to the Zoom video production without ensuring best practices for all participants on the call. That’s why we recommend, in the strongest terms, that there be a dedicated person or producer on the call whose sole purpose is to ensure that all participants Zoom feeds are optimized.

The Farmer’s Dog, a recent ASL partner, had a one on one Zoom conversation on best practices for dog training. Our dedicated producer ran through the entire process on a pre-production call and optimized the participants Zoom feeds how we’ve outlined in this blog. We scouted the participant’s locations for lighting and background, set two Zoom feeds to record and pinned one in speaker mode and one in gallery mode and noted specific moments and timecodes for the editor to use in post-production. Not only did this take the pressure off of our client leading up to sthe Zoom call but having a producer marking moments for our editor saves time in the edit. Which is very helpful for fast turnaround projects.

Zoom is an incredibly helpful tool in connecting. Whether it be with family and friends or to create video content for your brand. Following these steps is integral to creating the best possible video asset possible from a Zoom conference. For more information on setting up your Zoom video production or consulting for any remote video best practices email contact@aslproductions.com.

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